If your meat turns out to be rubber, eggplant is bitter, the dough does not rise, then most likely you are doing something like this. For example, do not add salt on time. In fact, a lot depends on this short action in the chain of culinary events. Often salt gets into the prepared dish spontaneously, usually after a question – “Already salt?”. Remembering at what point and what to salt is also difficult, as well as remembering, for example, how the articles on the cases in the German language change. Here, the main thing is to catch the essence, to feel.
A universal mother’s advice to salt when cooking at the beginning, and when frying at the end it sometimes works, but very often misfires. Too many nuances and exceptions. To learn how to salt smartly, the main thing is to understand what properties salt has, so to speak, to comprehend its nature and essence. Therefore, let’s go from the general to the particular.
Salt contributes to the release of juices
Therefore, if you salt, for example, meat at the beginning of cooking, it will most likely turn out to be dry.
But not always the loss of juice for the product is a minus. In some cases, this is a necessity. For example, salt the aubergines before cooking and let them stand salted – an excellent technique that will make aubergines “leak”, most of the bitterness characteristic of aubergines will go away with juice. In addition, the pieces of eggplant during frying or stewing will not lose their shape and turn into a mess, because the excess juice left them and they became denser.
Choosing the moment when to salt the product, think: you need to preserve its juiciness / humidity or to get rid of it on the contrary. In the first case, salt near the end of cooking, in the second – at the beginning or even before you start cooking.
Salt keeps the dish “in shape”
Speaking in a scientific language, salt makes the cell membranes stronger in many products and prevents the transfer of nutrients to the decoction.
This means, if you do not want the product to be digested and give its vitamin and mineral benefits to the water in which it is cooked, cook it in salt water. A good example is broccoli or cauliflower. These tender vegetables are instantly boiled, salt water will help them to maintain their shape and nutrients.
Another example is dumplings. Just like vegetables, salt will help them not break apart and maintain their shape. Therefore, cook dumplings in salt water.
There are cases when we need the product, on the contrary, to boil quickly. Peas, beans – from such products. Boil them in unsalted water.
Salt increases boiling point
Therefore, salt water boils longer, but, on the other hand, the dishes in it cook faster, because the temperature becomes higher.
Salt prevents gluten from softening
This knowledge is useful for those who like to bake. This means that salted dough will keep its shape better than dough without salt. That is why it is recommended that any dough be at least slightly salted, regardless of whether it is intended for a sweet dish or unsweetened. However, one must know that in a yeast dough, salt will affect the pore size of the dough, making them much smaller, in addition, the yeast dough with salt will not rise as much as the dough without it.
These were common installations. Now to the details.
Opinions about the right moment for salting meat vary. There are 2 cooking camps: some argue that the meat needs to be salted at the end, others argue the opposite and salted the meat at the beginning. But the goal for both of them is the same – to ensure that the meat becomes soft and tender. Who is right and who is not, can be understood based on the properties of the salt described above.
During beating and / or heat treatment, molecular bonds in the structure of the meat are broken, so it becomes easier to chew. But as we know, salt impedes this process, so you need to add it when softening has already occurred. In addition, salt stimulates the loss of juice – accordingly, if the meat is salt in the beginning, it will be less juicy. When frying, it is better to salt the meat at the half-ready stage, after it has already been slightly fried, in which case the meat is tender and juicy. If you salt the meat raw, it will immediately give juice and will be tough. The same rules apply to the liver.
The meat broth should be salted 20-25 minutes before the end of cooking, when the meat is not yet completely cooked.
And another important point that will greatly affect the taste of meat is the degree of grinding of salt that you use. If the salt is small, then its crystals will dissolve very quickly, salt out and, moreover, only the top layer of meat will become salted. Inside, the piece will still remain unsalted. Therefore, coarse salt for meat is better than fine.
When boiling fish, water should be salted more abundantly than when cooking meat and other products. If you fry fish and your specimen is a tender, watery fish, one that does not hurt to become denser, then salt it an hour before frying. So it will become a little denser and the chances that it will fall apart and turn into a fish mess in the cooking process will be less. And even if you are going to fry or stew a fish that does not sin with water, it is better to salt it not in the process, but before cooking: 10-15 minutes before. When baking in the oven, it takes a little less time – you can salt in 5-7 minutes. So it will be better to keep fit.
When frying vegetables, add salt at the very end, otherwise get stewed vegetables instead of fried. You can cook vegetables in salt water. Pay attention to beets, unlike other vegetables, beets are not boiled in salt water, this affects its taste. Legumes (peas, beans, beans) are salted at the end of cooking or after they become soft, otherwise they will boil for a long time.
When boiling, potatoes need to be salted at the end, when frying – after it is browned.